Location: Sandakan, Sabah
Ratings *** up-close of proboscis monkey and silver langur
Lost Ratings ***
Not enough of proboscis monkeys? Then go to Labuk Bay to satisfy your monkey-sighting cravings.
The only proboscis monkey sanctuary in the world, Labuk Bay offers the proboscis fan or avid wildlife photographer the chance to see these monkeys up-close. With no tree branches or leaves blocking the monkeys, this is one place besides the zoo where you can see that all important nose of the male proboscis monkey.
Located in the remaining parts of a mangrove forest turned oil palm plantation, the Labuk Bay sanctuary is the last remaining natural habitat for the primates in this area. There are currently about 400 proboscis monkeys left, although only about 70 monkeys come to the feeding platform regularly.
The sanctuary came about quite by accident. Due to the dwindling food supply when the mangrove forest was slowly converted into oil palm plantations, some monkeys made their way into the houses of the workers here and were seen nibbling on pancakes that were left out in the kitchen. Realizing their folly, the owner of the oil palm plantation decided to set aside some land for the wildlife instead of converting them all to oil palm plantations.
Feedings are held twice a day and due to the intolerance of sugar in their diet, the proboscis monkeys are given cucumber, long beans and non-sweet pancakes.
Besides the proboscis monkeys, the silver langurs also come during feeding time. The langurs have become so familiar with humans, that they are no longer afraid and would come right up to the viewing platform.
River cruise or sanctuary?
Some would argue that seeing the proboscis monkey on a river cruise is much better, and I don’t disagree with that. The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary should not be a replacement for a river cruise along the Kinabatangan River, but rather, it can be something extra. I recommend visiting the Kinabatangan River first before coming here. Otherwise, one can get monkey-fatigued.
11:30am and 4.30pm at Platform B (recommended. Silver Langurs also come here)
9.30am and 2.30pm at Platform A
Labuk Bay proboscis monkey sanctuary is located near Samawang Village at Labuk Bay. It takes about 38km or one hour from the airport in Sandakan and is a bit further up the road to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. If you would like to visit both sanctuaries in one day, it is possible to catch the feeding first at Sepilok before heading to Labuk Bay. It takes less than 30 minute from Sepilok.
The santuary is located 15 km from the main road, so without your personal transportation, it is not possible to get here on your own. Many tour companies offer tours to Labuk Bay or you can take the shuttle bus service offered by the sanctuary.
The shuttle service is RM15 per way.
Departure from Hotel Sandakan is at 9.30am and from Sepilok at 10.30am.
The shuttle departs from Labuk Bay at 5.30pm
Malaysian Adult RM15, Child(6-12 years) RM5
Foreigner Adult RM60, Child(6-12 years) RM30
Camera fee RM10, Video fee RM20
Sandakan (6)089-672177, 674880, 674133, 671745
Kota Kinabalu (6) 088-317316
Mobile: 019-8534098, 012-8188696